On Tuesday, we poked fun at Sheed for accidentally tipping a rebound back into Boston’s basket against Chicago, saying the clip was the perfect representation of Sheed’s lost (regular) season. All fun and games.
But a play from about the 7:00 mark of the 2nd quarter in the same game is actually a better representation of what could have been this season had Rasheed Wallace’s three-point percentage not slipped from league average to disastrous:
Oh, for a big man who could shoot 35 percent from deep.
This is the play I’ve dubbed the Rugby Scrum play—a play the 2010 C’s debuted about halfway through the season in a game against Miami. The play is pretty simple: Two bigs run out together to set a double-screen on the guy guarding the point guard.
It’s a brutally simple play designed to give Rajon Rondo (or, here, Nate Robinson) a bunch of options. If the screen hits Robinson’s man cleanly (as it does here), Nate can try and turn the corner against the big men and get to the rim. Meanwhile, the two screeners can do a bunch of things. Ideally, one will roll to the hoop while the other pops out for a perimeter jumper.
That’s why you’ll almost always see either Sheed or KG involved as one of the screeners on this play—their jump-shooting gives the point guard a pick-and-pop option. Here’s a still as this play develops:
Nate has dribbled left around the Davis screen, but Baby’s man (Jo Noah) is in solid position to cut off Nate’s drive.
So Baby does what he’s supposed to do: he rolls to the rim. This forces Sheed’s guy (Taj Gibson, stationed at the foul line) to move into Baby’s path.
And who’s wide open for three? Sheed.
Here’s my point: This play is made for Sheed. It cries out for a big man who can shoot the three. It can work with KG shooting a 20-footer, but imagine how much better it could work with a big man who could hit 35 percent of his three-point attempts?
That’s what the Celtics thought they were getting when they signed Sheed to a three-year deal.
Instead, Sheed is shooting 28 percent from deep and having one of the NBA’s all-time worst three-point shooting seasons.
Note: I’m not making Sheed the scapegoat for what has been a disappointing regular season. His performance is just one of dozens of reasons big and small the C’s weren’t the 55- or 60-win juggernaut we expected.
In other news: The playoffs start this weekend. The Celtics record is 0-0.